Just finished building an almost production quality heavy lift foldable Y6 frame.  Bare frame without electronics and motor mounts is 327.4g.  All frame parts are cnc machined.  The motor mounts are molded out of light weight fiberglass reinforced plastic (rear mount), and light weight graphite reinforced plastic (front).  

    The idea was to build a strong, lightweight, foldable, heavy lift platform at the bare minimum of cost.  All the components are covered and protected by an ultra lightweight fiberglass body set.  I was using carbon for the prototypes, but later opted for fiberglass to limit interference issues so everything could be enclosed within the body.  The carbon body weighs in at 80g a piece.  The Fiberglass body weighs in right around 45g (90g for both halves).  

    The arms are 16mm carbon fiber cello wrapped tubes.  The arms have almost a 2mm wall thickness, which makes them virtually indestructible.  40-50% of the arms weight can be drilled out for further weight saving without compromising structural integrity in flight.  The sub-frame assembly was cut from 2.5mm peel-ply carbon fiber panel (very strong and rigid, but at half the price of traditional weaved carbon fiber fabric).

    Everything on this air frame is an original custom design, especially the landing gear.  I have built and flown a number of multirotors with varying success.  The quality and flight characteristics have continually gotten better with each consecutive build.  In a previous blog that I posted "Trilo-Byte preproduction prototype"  I tested the effects of using light weight shock absorbent landing gear.  Due to the efficiency of prototype landing gear I decided to incorporate them into this version as well.  Considering the amount of money that goes into an AP rig why do we still use stiff rigid landing gear when landings on even the best systems are all but perfect?  I believe that it makes perfectly logical sense to dampen the landing struts to minimize excessive force on expensive hardware and components.  The landing gears dampening systems can be adjusted with cheap inexpensive o-rings.  

    I am also finishing up on a production quality quad build using many of the same building techniques.  I have also designed a better method for mounting ESCs', which makes them more accessible and easier to replace in the event one fails; also greatly reduces wire clutter.  I will post the quad photos and subsequent flight videos once I have finished fabricating and mounting the landing gear.  

    The premise behind all of my designs are to make the highest quality air frames at the lowest possible price, but most importantly make them easily serviceable with readily changeable and easy to produce parts.  Best of all, I design my frames around the ArduPilot hardware.   I will post videos and more photos soon, along with more specs.  

Feel free to post your comments, questions, suggestions, or criticisms.  All feedback is appreciated.   

Views: 4046

Comment by Daniel Hibben on March 1, 2012 at 12:48pm

way to go Todd. that is awesome i love it

let me know when you get it into production i will buy one :)

Comment by Stan Virgint on March 1, 2012 at 1:34pm

Very nice I want to build an hexacopter or a Y6. what is the advantage of the Y6 over the hexacopter?

Thanks Stan

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on March 1, 2012 at 2:03pm

Very cool!

Comment by Todd Hill on March 1, 2012 at 3:26pm

A Y6 has fewer parts, which makes for a lighter airframe.  Fewer parts also makes it more compact and easier to service.  In my opinion the coaxial design has proved to be a more stable platform than a traditional hexacopter where all the blades are spinning on the same horizontal plane.  With a coaxial the aircrafts weight is leveraged on two planes as opposed to just one.  

I can reproduce these in small numbers now, but its costly outsourcing for some parts.  I am currently sourcing the necessary parts tools and material to make every part in house, literally :).   This design required less machined parts than the Quad rotor I designed.  Both, however, are comprised of machined and molded parts.  I have really enjoyed working on the design and fabrication side.   The possible frame configurations and materials for these are almost endless.  

Comment by pål åge røstad on March 1, 2012 at 3:31pm

Hi. any one know where to get some thing like this cheap?

screws 3*40mm. 200-250mm in senter. got the pic fom here http://www.quadrocopter.com/Frame-Clamps_p_394.html

Thanks Pål

Comment by Dez Socks on March 1, 2012 at 6:10pm

The futuristic dome is cool looking.

Comment by Mike Walker on March 1, 2012 at 11:11pm

Looks great,

What price range do you think a finished frame will be in?

Comment by Todd Hill on March 2, 2012 at 8:22am
Trying to keep the cost of the frame down to around <=$350.
Comment by Jason Wise on March 2, 2012 at 11:45pm


These look similar to Mikado Logo Boom Clamps


Comment by Jason Wise on March 2, 2012 at 11:54pm

Another options is here


The designer's Hexa is called Flexacopter, google it on rcgroups to see what the clamps look like, top quality stuff!


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